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Converting First Time Guests to Repeat Visitors

Liz Smith-Mills, independent hotel consultant and P&G Professional Expert Advisory Council Member, advice for turning first time guests into loyal customers.

What is your top tip for converting first time guests to repeat visitors?

Developing business from repeat customers is fundamental to growing guest accommodation revenue, which drives investment for future success in the hospitality industry. One of the most important factors influencing guests’ accommodation choices is cleanliness. Ensuring guests have a positive experience during their stay, and leave wanting to return in the future is influenced by housekeeping teams delivering high standards of cleanliness and maintenance.

The key is to create an impactful first impression and develop a great lasting experience. Whilst friendly and efficient staff, updated décor and free Wi-Fi can all be a priority for guests, overall it is cleanliness and hygiene standards that are of upmost importance. Guest who experience poor standards will vote with their feet and not return.

From the moment of arrival it is important to ensure a great first impression. The smallest details do not go unnoticed, so attentiveness is key. High standards of cleanliness will instill confidence in guests, providing a positive environment in which to work and sleep. Guests wish to be greeted with clean, fresh smelling spaces, with crisp clean sheets, fluffy towels and pristine bathrooms. Failure to deliver these expectations will reduce the likelihood of their return.

Housekeeping working in partnership with reputable cleaning suppliers who supply quality products and training material, like P&G Professional Flash auto-dose system, can positively influence the guest experience, demonstrating that high standards are critical to success.

Over the years in some properties, I have observed that budget constraints, and refurbishments are often overlooked, which impacts the end results that are feasibly achievable for housekeeping teams.

Cost cutting can be false economy. Travellers are eager to share their opinions, and complaints, to both friends and family, and on social platforms. It’s important to limit opportunities for criticism. Guests leaving unhappy due to poor cleanliness not only impacts the likelihood of return, it can prevents referrals and future business. Every guest has the potential to become a repeat visitor, you just have to create a great first impression.

Liz Smith-Mills is an Expert Advisory Council member for P&G Professional. With over 35 years’ experience in the hospitality sector, she has worked predominantly in 4 and 5 star properties in all hotel departments, specialising in housekeeping, training, mystery guest inspections and assisting with new openings.

To learn more about P&G Professional and the professional cleaning systems please visit or call 0800 716 854.

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